CAPTURED SAFE HOUSE. Soldiers scour the safe house where explosives and firearms, believed to be owned by the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), are recovered in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao, on Monday (Oct. 10, 2022). The safe house is situated in the middle of the vast marshland bordering two villages in the town. (Photo courtesy of 6IB)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Acting on a civilian tip-off, government forces managed to recover improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and firearms kept in an abandoned safe house in the marshland of Datu Salibo town in the province.

Lt. Col. Michael Glenn Manansala, commander of the 6th Infantry Battalion (6IB), on Tuesday said the explosives and firearms belonged to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a local terrorist group allied with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“We found the safe house on Monday in the middle of the Liguasan marshland,” Manansala said in his report to 601st Infantry Brigade commander Col. Oriel Pangcog.

The BIFF safe house was discovered on the border of Barangays Pandi and Pindeten in Datu Salibo municipality.

“Civilians tipped off the soldiers about the presence of armed men in the area, so we conducted the operation,” he said.

Manansala said government forces braved the marshland and recovered 16 IEDs, a kilo of black powder, 36 improvised blasting caps, three rocket-propelled grenade explosives, ammunition, and BIFF personal items.

Pangcog lauded the 6IB troopers for immediate action and the public for providing timely information that led to the seizure of the BIFF war matériel.  

Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, has once more called on BIFF elements to surrender and live peacefully with their families and loved ones instead of fighting a lost cause. (PNA)